Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, our normal lives have changed and our reality has ceased to be what it was, but in the midst of this crisis, the humanity has been provided with something very special: More time. In our hectic lives filled by long working hours, studies, tasks, social gatherings and responsibilities time is a luxury. Now, most of us have been forced to stay home due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has severely affected humans around the world, but this situation has given us time, perhaps not time to travel, to go to festivals, events, concerts, shopping malls, parks or time to gather with friends and family but we have got time to think, meditate and reflect, and the question is, should we really go back to “normal” after the pandemic?
It was almost the end of the high season here in the north of Norway. Many travelers from around the world come during winter to visit and discover this magical winter wonderland. For me, working in the tourism area, having 10 hours shifts, time was definitely a luxury. All of a sudden, from one day to another, it was over. Not because the season was over but because our lives had a radical change due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The borders were closed and a 14 days quarantine was established for those visiting the country. That meant the abrupt temporary closing of all tourism offices in the city and around the world. Just like that, I went from having almost no time to have all the time in the world.
It is not uncommon to feel disoriented when your life changes abruptly and one immediately and desperately rush to go back to normal, that means, back to what we know, what gives us that sense of security, our comfort zone. However, I decided to embrace this opportunity. I finally had time, something I was desperately looking for. I had time to relax, to have a proper breakfast, to enjoy the beautiful view from my window, to exercise, to make all kind of homemade meals, watch a good movie, play board games, read, chill in the sofa for hours with my cat on my lap, have a nice and long talk with the people around me at my house or via the internet, but above all, I had time to think, to wonder, to contemplate, to consider, to reflect.
“Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
One day I was wondering what will happen to the world after the pandemic is over, the question resounding in my head was: How do we go back to normal after the Coronavirus? All the possible scenarios in my head sounded complicated, unrealistic or completely crazy. But then I started considering the fact that maybe going back to “normal” is not the best idea. Perhaps, humanity can use this crisis as a benefit, as a way to change everything for the better. Perhaps, we can have good use of the time that was given to us to reconsider what normal really is and take this time to change the way we think, we behave and we act in our daily lives.
It is in the time of crisis when our lives are shaped, and we can be active participants in the shaping of our new lives by giving our best to shape it in the way we want it to be. The truth is that while there are some circumstances that cannot be controlled we can always do something to improve our current circumstances and our future. Therefore, it is important to not miss the opportunity we have to change those things that are not so “normal” and to learn the lessons behind this crisis. We have now the chance to improve our life and the life of others.
“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path – the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.” – Amit Ray
We have the time to decide if we really want to go back to our normal lives or what we considered normal, we can decide now to change something about our life, to improve ourselves, to change bad habits and behaviors, for example, this crisis has taught us that in order to succeed and to guarantee our existence we need to take care of each other regardless our nationality, social status, genre, and age. It is now more than ever that we need to take care of ourselves and others in order to avoid more unnecessary deaths, more suffering and put an end to this crisis. This invisible enemy called COVID-19 has taught us that in the end, if we are not together as one no matter where we come from, we will cease to exist. This virus has taught us that kindness, respect, compassion, and love between humans was, is and will always be the key to our success. Separated we are weak, insignificant, vulnerable, but united we are strong and powerful.
Let’s use this time to think about what are the things worth returning to such as being around your family and friends, traveling around the world, going to your favorite festival, to the movies or train and enjoy your favorite sport, enjoying nature and life with freedom and let’s also think about those things we might want to change such as being more compassionate and kind with others and the planet, to take care of our health and the health of others, to appreciate more the little things being more grateful with everything we have, to value our time on earth knowing that one day we are here and the other we might not, to understand how important it is to spend time at home with our family, kids, pets, having time to cook, to play, to love each other rather than always rushing after things that do not really matter.
“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” – Thomas Paine
The truth is that most of what we call “normal” is not so normal at all and it is indeed destroying ourselves, all other beings in the world and the planet more than the Coronavirus. Therefore, it is time now to reconsider our actions. Our selfishness, jealousy, negativity, our greed, criticism, racism our bad habits and consumerism is separating our selves from each other and we are slowly destroying animals and the environment, therefore, what we do now to change what we have accepted as normal will determine our future and the lessons learned during this period can help to our evolution, uniting us as humans and being prepared for any other crisis.
Let’s use this extra time to our benefit by thinking and focusing on which parts of your normal life you want to return, which parts are worth returning to and how do you want the “new normal” to look like. Life as we knew changed and will never be the same, let’s create together a brand new destiny!